NSW Premier Barr O’Farrell’s comments on ABC radio regarding the retrospectivity of the government’s amendments to the NSW workers compensation scheme are misleading, according to Greens NSW Industrial Relations spokesperson David Shoebridge.

Mr Shoebridge has a motion before the Upper House to ‘condemn the NSW Premier for deliberately misleading the public, or at the very least being culpably ignorant in failing to understand his own legislation.’

Industrial Relations“If Barry O’Farrell is going to slash benefits, and do it retrospectively, he should at least have the courage to be honest about it,” Mr Shoebridge said.

“Schedule 12 of the Bill clearly states that the legislation will have retrospective effect, taking away existing rights to lump sums, ongoing weekly payments and medical expenses.

“It is a common principle of law that changes to legislation such as this do not have retrospectivity, unless the legislative specifically changes that presumption.

“People have made choices affecting the rest of their lives based on the way the system worked. It is completely unprincipled for Barry O’Farrell to throw these people’s lives into turmoil by undermining the choices they made.

“Barry O’Farrell needs to be honest with the people of NSW about the real effects his mean-spirited changes to WorkCover are going to have,” Mr Shoebridge said.

Wording of the motion

Mr Shoebridge to move:

  1. That this House notes that NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell on ABC 702 on Wednesday 20 June misled listeners as to the retrospectivity of his government’s amendments to the workers compensation scheme.
  2. That this House condemn the NSW Premier for deliberately misleading the public, or at the very least being culpably ignorant in failing to understand his own legislation.